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Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
David Othenin-Girard  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service


Reviews

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1997 Ledaig 21 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Sherry Butt Island Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-15-2019
This absolutely gorgeous Ledaig is going to easily qualify as one of the best buys of the year. It's hard to argue that Ledaig isn't one of the most exciting spirits coming out of Scotland these days, but the distillery bottlings are getting more and more expensive. The Tobermory Distillery has also been closed for the last two years, doesn't do anything to ease the price pressures of this small operation. Regardless of the incredible price compared to distillery bottlings, this cask will almost certainly be a total sleeper. Not because it lacks merit in any sense, but simply because it's not as flashy or obvious as the rest of the line up from Chieftain's. Nonetheless, for those who take the plunge they'll be rewarded with one of the most complex whiskies in our portfolio this year. A nose of smoldering cigars and high-end soy sauce. It's not so abruptly peaty on the nose, but deeply umami with wide range of savory aromas that make you instantly salivate. The sherry is definitely there, but we're on the sweet roasted orange peel side of the spectrum rather than the raisins and roasted nuts. On the palate the saltiness starts to take over and definitely more obvious peat. Smoked fish, smoked herbs, smoked meats, salty, dense sooty and savory. Some dried citrus, nut butter and sweet barrel spice to balances out the absurdity of it all. This one may not be for everyone, but it's goddamned delicious and absolutely unique.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

2005 Laphroaig 13 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Sherry Butt Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-10-2019
Laphroaig is one of those incredible things that is both polarizing and unifying, sometimes between the same people at the same exact time. I personally adore almost everything I taste that's from this special distillery. Yes there are some underwhelming distillery bottlings that might feel a bit over manipulated, but the whisky is never ever bad. The great heights that can be achieved by Laphroaig are truly unbelievable. Nor do some of the very best of this special distillery need to be old. Some of the very best Laphroaig I've ever had the great pleasure of tasting are no more than 10 years old. And for years Laphroaig felt like a bit of a secret that you weren't sure you wanted to share with everyone you know. Particularly that was true of the special single casks that we'd come across in warehouses and whisky shops throughout Scotland. But in the current climate, where the distillery itself has no need or use for trading or brokering excess production, what was once a special secret to find and share is now an endangered species completely. So when we get offered casks like this we expect them to be unfathomably expensive. But even if this were twice the price I'd still have bought it. This is that perfectly idiosyncratic Laphroaig. Deep wafting peat, a mix of bitter herbs, salty ocean trawler, candied apricots and diesel engine. Old leather furniture, Seville oranges, not quite tropical, but not so severe as it might be. On the palate a building sweetness envelopes the powerful smoke as it wafts toward the olfactory system. Dark chocolate, salted plums, menthol and magic. A total dream and a secret that deserves to be kept.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

1995 Caperdonich 24 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single 2nd Fill Sherry Hogshead Speyside Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-10-2019
I was not expecting to see what I saw when we received this sample. When I saw old expensive Caperdonich on the list, I figured it had been just like the other handful of Caperdonichs we'd seen over the years. That is to say, subtle and overpriced. The ones that tended to pop up were in 3rd and 4th fill and while they were often delicious, they were too ethereal to merit that high prices. But when I saw the color on this monster I knew we'd stumbled on something else completely. This bad boy is absolutely packed full of dark roasty flavors. Big bold spice, smoldering embers, high quality pipe tobacco, caramelized apple and burnt citrus peel. This was a very active cask indeed. Big oily rich and long in the mouth, with lots of peppery and sweet raisin-y stone fruit. Finish has a savory quality that's hard to pin point - maybe some wasabi or habanero in the tiniest most perfect addition to the massively complex package. Of course many will balk at the price, but of course this is a rarity that actually deserves the inflated price point. You'll be one of only 150 people in the world to experience this special cask and undoubtedly one of the last Caperdonichs we'll ever see.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 6 per customer

1997 Benriach 21 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Rum Barrel Aged Speyside Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-10-2019
This lovely cask of Benriach is the first we've bottled from the distillery in sometime. While it's nothing like the densely sherried monsters we once bottled, it is one of my favorite Riach's to date. An incredibly fresh nose of clean roasted malt and tropical fruit. Tiny drop of water to start. There's no rum esters funk, which I was kind of hoping for, but instead more of an agricole quality. Around that a buttery creaminess that is unbelievably decadent. Massive bouquets of yellow flowers, honeysuckles and sunflowers, papaya and pineapple. ON the palate, rich and textured, full of malt and fruit. The oak surprisingly taking a back seat despite more than 3 years in rum casks. It's hard to say exactly what the rum did or didn't do here, but the ultimate result is absolutely dreamy.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Old Potrero "K&L Exclusive Barrel #12" 63.33% Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-09-2019
We used to sell out of these single barrel Old Potreros the moment they arrived, but now people have so many options that these tend to get overlooked. Finally, though, the distillery has put together a barrel program that really works. Cask strength, single barrel, and one of the most pleasurable craft spirits anywhere! Sometimes different is actually better, and nowhere is that more clear than what they're doing with the wonderful Old Potrero whiskey. This cask is VERY different from the other. It's even a slight shade lighter in color, and the nose is dominated by big oak spice and earthy malt. The palate brings tons of evergreen, mint, angelica, anise, ginger, and sage. With a bit of water, some more wild honey, but it's bold, prickly spice on display here. We're in total esoterica here. A real treat for those who want a full-throat experience and love earthy spice.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Old Potrero "K&L Exclusive Barrel #13" 63.21% Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-09-2019
The famous old craft distiller in Potrero Hill is no longer referred to by its original name, but that doesn't make the juice they're bottling any less arresting. The single malt rye filled into new charred American oak is their most sought-after expression, and it's always been my favorite way to experience the entrancing nuance of the 100% malted rye. The nose explodes with bold Christmas spice and dark red cherry compote. The dense fruit wafts toward sweet lacquer and old, expensive hardwood aromas. On the palate the high proof is somewhat masked by an oiliness that is somewhat the hallmark of Potrero. Big, bold cherries and freshly shaved cassia bark envelope the palate. The texture holds strong, but wood and spice dominate now. With and without water the finish is pure candied cherries. This one is a bit of a cherry bomb, but also a spice bomb and a wood bomb. One large, highly controlled detonation.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2019
While everyone is talking about the New Riff bourbons, I think it's the rye that's secretly their most exciting product. New Riff bourbons are high rye already, but they follow sort of the standard Kentucky process. With the rye, New Riff is actually riffing a bit on the classic Larry Ebersold Seagram's mashbill that's made the rye from the distillery down river so famous. This is 100% rye with 5% of that being malted rye. The resulting whisky is earthy and complex. It doesn't have the obvious mint qualities of some other 100% ryes, instead replacing those with a dark underbrush aroma that's really appealing. Still, an evergreen quality and some sweet oak give this an obvious forest essence that I think will become a hallmark of New Riff's wonderful ryes. The palate is very forgiving without relinquishing the savoriness, but offering tons of flambeed citrus, roasting herbs, Manuka honey and a round creamy texture. This one loves a bit of water.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2019
Easily one of the most exciting new distillers in KY, and we're proud to be the partner for these incredible products. This isn't your run-of-the-mill craft distillery, this is a proper, modern Kentucky style distillery. It's not a tiny capacity, working on experiments and trying to reinvent the wheel. They're just cranking out great whisky and we're along for the ride. The flagship BIB bourbon is extremely well balanced and proof positive that craft whiskey doesn't need to be old to be delicious. I'm not sure if they're heat-cycling these warehouses, but they are rubbing all the edges of this little gem. A soft nose of sweet tea, deep oak, caramelized orange peel, and hints of earthy maltiness. On the palate it's somewhat tropical, with a strawberry candy front palate building into a strong spice toward the back. It's not a slouch and definitely has a spice backbone that's going to suit lovers of Four Roses or Wild Turkey just fine. Despite the name, New Riff isn't new school at all. Just great classic bourbon from an independent distillery that we're unbelievably lucky to be a part of.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2007 Unnamed Speyside (Macallan) 12 Year Old "Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection" 2nd Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2019
To get an idea of how absolutely unusual it is for us to find a cask of Macallan in sherry to sell as an exclusive: this is literally the first time in a decade of selecting single casks that we've ever offered Macallan aged in sherry. Our teaspooned cask of William Hepburn three years ago was of course aged in ex-bourbon hoggies, as were the very expensive and older ones we've occasionally acquired as a thank-you from our best suppliers. Usually if it's available it's so outrageously priced we can't even conceive of a world where our customers would consider paying a premium at, or above, the ridiculous premium the distillery already charges. So we were extremely excited to taste this gorgeous butt when our guide brought us into the warehouse. This will most closely resemble the highly sought-after Classic Cut offering that's now popular in terms of its style, but of course we've got an older, single cask, and higher proof. The nose initially is punchy and full of dark malt, fudge, praline, hints of flint, and stone fruit. With air, more of the sherry character comes out, with a little bit of nutty oloroso aromatic framing the bold malt nicely. On the palate, sweet biscuits; very textured and rich, almost chocolatey finish. But this whisky at full strength is simply hidden, packed with quality, but slightly monotone. Now add water, not just a drop, but enough to see a little bit of cloudiness develop as the oils coalesce. Now we're truly in rarefied air. The nose is now this absolutely pristine expression of exotic fruits: kiwi, passion fruit, jujubes, quince, candied lemon peel, and nougat. On the palate, the dark malt is gone and replaced with candied nuts, creamy custard, hints of lemon oil and anise. It somehow gains weight and texture with water. So if you're one of those people that refuses to water down your whisky for whatever reason, than you should skip this. If you love to add water and experience a whisky in its many chimeric forms, then you'll fall in love just like I did.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2014 Bunnahabhain Staoisha Heavily Peated 4 Year Old "Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection" Dechar/Rechar Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2019
Only four years old and absolutely cranking! The heavy peated Stoaisha is always good, but here we're in a different league than the others we've sold. The addition of the very active oak turns this from a linear malt with just peat and salt into something much more complex. The nose is bold smoke, but with complex wood smoke, sweet vanilla syrup, tiny whiffs of iodine, orange sherbet melting on a diesel engine. The palate, while I was worried that it would be dominated by oak, is the purest peat smoke, sweet roasted almonds, herbs of all kinds, saffron, salted lemon peel, and a slight lanolin quality. With water it's a bit more ozone; lemon peel comes forward and tons of herbs. More nuts and vanilla on the palate, but very fresh. It might be "modern," but it doesn't seem composed or adulterated like so many young malts from the big boys.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

1996 Tobermory 22 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-10-2019
This awesome cask of Tobermory seems to have gotten lost in the sea of exceptional single casks we've just acquired. The new owners of this odd little distillery on the gorgeous Isle of Mull have recently closed the distillery for renovations and won't likely open until sometime in 2020. That means the already expensive whisky could become even more rare. The thing about Tobermory is that it can be a bit inconsistent. When it's good, it's an absolute dream. At its worst it's overly feinty with tons of funky mashy fermenty flavors. We were unsure if this whisky aged in a refill sherry butt could possibly be from the right side of Tobermory at this ridiculous price, but we needed to risk it considering the potential opportunity. Turns out this is one of the best Tobermory I've ever tasted. Much cleaner than we usually see, perhaps thanks to decades in this old butt and retaining its distinct "Islands" quality that I see in all the best Tobermory. When the porridge flavors aren't there, this stuff can be truly exceptional. The nose starts a bit closed with hints of roasted nuts and sweet malt. On the palate, there's the tiniest hint of sweet spent mash, but it's restrained and has none of the lactic quality that makes some of these feel "off”. But when you add water the whole thing explodes into a symphony of salted nuts, roasted stone fruit, vibrant fresh forest and freshly cut grass. On the palate the malt takes a back seat now with a basket of nuts and dried apricots delivered right to your olfactory gates. This might be the best Tobermory we've ever had and considering the distillery release 21 Year is $240+, it's worth the risk for even the most jaded hater of Mulls historic distiller.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin (375ml)
Review Date: 08-26-2019
The first time I saw it we were in Scotland. I full on freaked out at a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this quirky bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for the knowledgeable and gin soaked. None of us had experienced this legendary gin yet, but thanks to the UK's lax wine shop regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule was in full effect. We were soon dunking our noses in a few splashes of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. It’s quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. No point in continuing to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true roller-coaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin (1L)
Review Date: 08-26-2019
The first time I saw it we were in Scotland. I full on freaked out at a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this quirky bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for the knowledgeable and gin soaked. None of us had experienced this legendary gin yet, but thanks to the UK's lax wine shop regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule was in full effect. We were soon dunking our noses in a few splashes of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. It’s quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. No point in continuing to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true roller-coaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Kilkerran (Glengyle) "Heavily Peated" Batch No. 1 Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-08-2019
There are few more satisfying malts than the Kilkerran lineup, and the new Heavily Peated is no exception. This guy is peated up to the level of a Longrow, but trucked down the road to the new old stone distillery. Biggest difference here between Longrow and Kilkerran HP are the mash, fermentation times, still shape, and condensers. Despite the high peat level there's a restraint that isn't found in the Longrow products. Perhaps it's the slightly upturned lyne arms or the quicker fermentation, but the peat is hidden slightly behind a kind of salty earthiness. For the nose, expect subtle salted nuts, kippers, old leather armchair, lightly roasted coffee bean, camphor, and quince. The palate is decidedly more peaty, but this stuff doesn't start to really speak until you've doused it a bit. Now a bit more peat and more camphor, pithy lemon peel, purity, and tension. A feeling of being in a harbor with tugs and fish boats coming and going, the ocean roaring outside the break, the Mull of Kintyre in the distance. On the palate, unctuous and oily, but linear and focused. Big sooty smoke, salted fish, exotic herbs, wild fruit, menthol - analgesic, numbing, and delicious. A fabulous ancient style of whisky that has almost no correlate in the modern whisky world.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Kilkerran (Glengyle) 12 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-08-2019
There are few more interesting and important whiskies on the shelf than the wonderful Glengyle Distillery malts. The Kilkerran brand has such an interesting story, basically Springbank's big middle finger to the SWA for trying to screw them out of a regional designation, but what's even more interesting than the origin story are the incredible malts themselves. Many of our customers know and love the idiosyncratic malts distilled just down the road at Springbank. The 12 year old Kilkerran is the perfect example of how slight difference in the process can significantly affect the flavor, texture and character of a whisky. This is essentially a slightly less peated version of the same malt that goes into the classic Springbank. It sees a more modern mashing process and a similar, if slightly cleaner, fermentation in traditional Larch vats. The wash is then distilled on the old Ben Wyvis stills, modified slightly to fit in the stone walls of Glengyle and produce the character of whisky that Mitchell was looking for. Tilted slightly up the spirit produced here has some oiliness but also a purity that is that isn't as obvious at Springbank. This is in many ways my perfect malt whisky. The nose billows out of the glass with sweet citrus, mineral/petrol, powerful herbs and deep clean smokiness. On the palate, it's obviously peated, but not acrid and so wonderfully old school. Chewy texture lemon balm, lanolin, chalk mineral, salted stone fruit and ocean spray. Tangy, structured, long, salty and satisfying as it finishes- there's almost nothing out the quiet like this today.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Douglas Laing's "The Gauldrons" Batch #1 Limited Edition Campbeltown Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-07-2019
The Remarkable Regional Malts series from Douglas Laing remains one of Scotland's best kept secrets. Ultra high quality single malt blended expertly from some of the country's finest stocks. The result are some of the most seamless and affordable malt whiskies on the market today, but no one stateside seems to have noticed. We continue to get amazing pricing on some of their limited releases and this is one that is exclusive to K&L in California. The nose has a purity of malt that is rare these days. Salty, zesty barley, bright stone fruit, cookie dough, tiny hints of smoldering oak, and barrel spice. Bright, linear, refreshing, and ultra clean on the palate, this is somehow quintessentially Campbeltown in a way that none of the actual single malts of the region capture quite as well. There's none of the Scotia funk or the Springbank peat - instead, just this wonderful tension of fruit, malt, and oak. Bold and linear without a drop of water and after that dangerously quaffable. Be sure to grab it while you can, as there's no telling if we'll ever get more, and certainly never again at this price.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Westward "Single Barrel #B-236-11" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-06-2019
We I visited Portland back in the summer of 2018, I totally blown away by the scale with which House Spirits has committed to their Westward Single Malt. These guys are distilling lots of great whiskey and while other brands constantly release special editions, new expressions and one offs, Westward has devoted itself to one singular product. The results are in the bottle, but I finally convinced them that the world wanted more! After a year of waiting, we finally have it. This insane cask of 6 year old Single Malt bottled at full strength is one of the most interesting things we've ever put into the bottle. I've always been worried about how older American Single Malt would handle the oak, but this cask proves there's no limit to the amount of age, when you start with a robust flavor spirit. On first nosing, you're overwhelmed by deep dark chocolate maltiness. Powerful aromas of roasted hazelnuts, grilled peach, red fruit compote, exotic honey, woodsy underbrush and zesty citrus peel. On the palate it's pure malt framed by dark tea, sweet caramel and powerful spice. But add a few splashes of water and you've got something much more supple and quaffable. Now we move into the gorgeous orchard fruit, honeysuckle, nougat, cracked pepper and subtle herbal under tons. The palate continues with the bright malt, stones fruits and some pepper, but finishes long and warming like a glass of sweet barley tea. I've rarely come across craft single malt this complex and put together. The style is the perfect balance between the bold malt flavors and the heady woodsy aromatics that an American whiskey drinker might love. I don't know if I'd call this a crossover whiskey because it just feels like it should inherently appeal to anyone, but it's certainly one of the most exciting products we have in the store right now.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Hillrock Estate Solera Aged Single Barrel "#143-A" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2019
There are few American whiskies that transcend the category's gruff persona. Sure, there are expensive whiskies being made at craft and industrial distilleries alike, but only a tiny handful capture that nuanced space that could be considered "luxury." The Hillrock Estate achieves that feeling without even trying. They've put so much time, money, energy and thoughtfulness into these products -- the inherent quality seeps from the glass with almost perfect restraint. Dave Pickerell (RIP) had a field day making Hillrock. I'd never seen him more proud or excited about one of his products than when he talked about Hillrock. But nothing about the story explicitly implies that it's a luxury product. After all the "Estate" is actually a farm, but the quality derives directly from a commitment to produce the absolute best regardless of cost. That is true luxury. Almost no craft producers have achieved such an innovative and well-polished product, so when we had the chance to buy this little cask we knew we wanted to pick a good one. After many rounds of samples, we found one that captured the incredible intrigue of their standard release, yet turned up volume to a different level. The wine cask influence, something I'm generally averse to in bourbon, is so well integrated and built around such a high quality product that you almost can't pick out their specific complexities. The nose is a powerful bouquet of hardwood, spice box, roasted nut brittle, caramelized stone fruit, hints of graphite, dried leaves, and white pepper. On the palate, sweet black cherries, fresh tobacco leaf, roasting baking spice, wild honey, and burnt orange peel. Big, bold spice coming out on the finish, which is powerful but not at all hot. The is whiskey is like an Hermès tie. It's not flashy or loud, but exudes elegance, class, and above all, good taste. Few American whiskies can match the quality that is being produced at the little farm upstate, but we're extremely excited to see the incredible things they've got planned and proud to partner on this special cask.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

Fukano 10 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Cask Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-11-2019
We've had several casks of Fukano in the past. Usually the style is very restrained and elegant with more subtlety than intensity. But most of those casks were bottled around 7 years old. It's incredible what 3 additional years in barrel due to this unusual spirit. Gone are the light floral and rice-y aromas, replaced by dense orchard fruit, a sweet concentrated perfume of tropical nectars, clean green aromas of mint, sorrel and anis. The whisky explodes onto the tongue with creamy citrus, cake frosting, brioche and subtle oak spice. Some of the haters denigrate these products for being rice distillates, but I contend that even the most jaded critic would be hard pressed to argue with the pure joy that is captured in the bottle. Yes it might not be whisky in Japan, but it's whisky here and tasted FANTASTIC. Don't be closed minded because this is easily one of the most delicious Japanese Whiskies on the shelf right now. One of only 216 bottles.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2007 Don Q "Limited Edition" Single Barrel Rum 750ml
Review Date: 06-24-2019
Here's a good old fashioned closeout that everyone should take advantage of. We don't do a whole lot of Spanish style rum here at K&L. That's not because we don't like the style, but we feel that the few we stock offer a good cross section of the relatively homogeneous style. A few distillers in the category stand out from the pack and Don Q has always been one of them. It's Puerto Rico's best selling rum and has a long history of exceptionalism. That said their entry level stuff isn't exactly jumping off the shelves in California. But when I tasted the single barrel I knew we had to have it. There's no reason this shouldn't be worth $40 and we did sell it at that price for some time. But at $20, it goes from a good rum at an ok price to one of the best deals in the store from any category. This is "Single Barrel" in the Caribbean sense, meaning one make and barrel type without blending. It's just under 10 years old and is one of those rums you can literally do anything with. Sip it straight, it will appeal to bourbon guys or dark rum drinkers alike. Throw it on the rocks or with a splash of coconut water on a hot day, you'll plow through a bottle in an afternoon. Use it as a base for countless rum classics. It doesn't matter, this stuff makes everything taste good without tons of sticky sugar or caramel coloring. The nose is pure barrel spice, exotic candy, wild honey and maple syrup. The tiniest hints of rum funk let us know that this isn't Kentucky bourbon, but I bet some would have trouble guessing the genre by smell alone. The palate is packed with rich dark flavors of candied tropical fruit, turbinado sugar, chocolate covered raisin and baking spices, but unlike so many of the other light dark -that is to say column distilled, barrel aged- rums it doesn't turn cloyingly sweet on the finish. Instead a big drying oak builds to a pleasurable warming spice on the finish. It seems that the distillery decided to let this little rum speak for itself and for that we thank them. Unquestionably the finest rum deal in the store right now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

1988 Fitte et Laterrade 30 Year Old "Domaine Le Chaou" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-29-2019
The wonderful brandy at Fitte & Laterrade represents some of the most interesting stocks available anywhere in Armagnac, but these two single casks that Vincent acquired from a small farm outside of Perquie were easily the most exciting and unique. This extremely well-regarded village in the heart of Bas-Armagnac is home to the famous Chateau de Ravignan, one of La Landes most well regarded producers. But just south of Ravignan, a small domaine holds tiny amounts of Armagnac for home consumption. The farmer specializes mostly in foie and beef production and doesn't produce his own Armagnac, but has small stocks stored on his domaine paid to him in exchange for his services harvesting the grapes. Vincent told me that he'd stumbled upon the Domaine after a long day of tasting and bought these two barrels on the spot. When they were delivered to the chai a few weeks later he re-tasted and thought he must have been crazy. He wasn't sure he'd ever be able to sell them. This is just not what people trying to commercialize brandy in France are expecting. These single barrels were filled into new Gascogne oak without any manipulation whatsoever. The brandy was distilled and harvested at the famous Domaine de Charron and the Domaine Le Chaou was simply the site of aging rather than the site of production. It's a style that the locals love and you see people drinking out of shiners, but almost never makes it onto the market for fear that it will overpower those who might stumble upon it. The bottles open super tight and will taste world's better after a few weeks open, so I recommend pouring your first glass at least 1 hour before you plan to consume it. The color is pure mahogany. The nose is a huge bundle of roasted nuts, dried fruits, oloroso sherry, prune puree, mocha, fig jam, clove, cinnamon. Ultra-thick and a bit hot on entry, it feels like it's going to go astringent, but backs off the edge with a dense sweet fruit, dark chocolate, burnt sugar and exotic wood. This is a big bold brandy that almost reminds me more of Kavalan or something in that intensity level than anything I've ever had from France.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

1991 Chateau de Vacquié 27 Year Old Unfiltered Haut-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-29-2019
The excellent Chateau de Vacquié Armagnacs are setting a precedent which I'm not sure can be match elsewhere in the Haut-Armagnac. The region, which is not producing significant quantities of brandy, seems to have been nearly forgotten. Yet sitting on a plateau across from the medieval town of Lectoure one of the most spectacular domaines exists in a class unto its own. The proprietor, Bruno Compagnon, is a former fashion retail executive who has used the domaine as a summer home for decades. Over the last 25 years they've committed themselves to producing ultra-high-quality Armagnacs. Bruno has spared no expense in the production of the Armagnacs, enlisting high-end wine consultants and the region's finest distillers. Now decades later, his son Morgan who is an LA film industry insider, is interested in commercializing the stocks. We've selected two excellent vintages to be highlight the diverse offerings from this special domaine. The 1991 is much more fruit forward than the '98. Big notes of stewed peaches, dark tea, high-end cocoa powder and maple syrup. The palate is lifted, but bold with big baking spice and cinnamon. The oolong tea thing comes back on the back end but not enough to bring it into bitter territory. Ultra-decadent and pretty polished. A very approachable yet very complex offering from this new domaine.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1998 Chateau de Vacquié 20 Year Old Unfiltered Haut-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-29-2019
I first heard about the incredible Chateau de Vacquie through a customer, Morgan Compagnon. His father was a wine and brandy producer at small domaine outside of Lectour. I was skeptical simply because the area is well known for not having much good brandy production, but it was just a little detour from my planned visit with L'Encantada that I couldn't resist exploring the area for our first producer from the region. I was expecting a small little farmhouse and when the GPS took me into Lectour I knew I'd made a wrong turn. I met Bruno at the local supermarket and followed him on tiny dirt roads through the hills across the gorge from Lectoure to find one of the most beautiful properties I'd ever seen. Vacquie was a traditional 17th century chateau surrounded by vineyards and pear trees. Not at all the farmhouse I was expecting. Bruno and his wife were inside having an espresso and we sat and talked about what they did and why I was there. Incredibly cosmopolitan and chic, the couple seemed to feed off each other and my excitement for their beautiful property. I spent the next several hours tasting every single vintage we could get our hands on. Bruno was like a kid in a candy store jumping from place to place insisting I try this or that barrel. We ultimately settled on two vintages that I thought represented the best of what the domaine had to offer. The nose on the '98 is packed full of dark dried fruit, bitter herbs, cacao, coffee, anise, gentian and fudge. It's so dark and intense you worry about the palate going bitter, but the opposite is true. Very rich and textured with the perfect amount of wood sugar to keep it balanced. Long spicy peppery and powerful. This is one that should appeal to nearly any drinker of dark spirit although it's likely too intense for the typical Cognac drinker. An absolutely unbelievable value and a welcome entry to our exquisite portfolio of exclusive Armagnac.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

1990 L'Encantada 27 Year Old "Domaine le Parre #18" Tenarèze Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-29-2019
The Le Parre estate is the first Tenarèze producer that Encantada have worked with. The regions Armagnacs are much harder edged than the Bas-Armagnac to the West due to the preponderance of clay in the soils. There are certainly exceptional brandies being produced in the area and especially above 20 years old they can be exceptional. The nose here in a lot of ways is very typical Tenarèze, with more overt herbaceous quality and a dark gravelly quality. It's layered enough to not feeling overpowering and with some air we start to see something very much more than earthiness. Tons of dried stone fruits, apricots and dates. Hints of roasted nuts, wild honey and powerful dried spices. The savory quality on the nose braces you for a powerful dry entry, but this stuff goes completely the other way. Supple and round, without a hard tannin in site, the rancio fruit and candied nuts take over from the spice and herbs. Textured warm and long on the palate, it's no lightweight, but has an unexpected finesse for a Tenarèze. I feel like this deserves to be more expensive, but I just can bring myself to be that greed and pray that anyone who loves good brandy is able to afford a bottle of this benchmark offering from this special estate.
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1997 L'Encantada 20 Year Old "Bellair #36" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-29-2019
Bellair is a well-regarded estate that have sold brandies via the Darroze brand as well. Encantada, through some personal connections, was able to secure a few casks of various ages, but they're an extremely unique style. While the domaine would normally use very little new oak, they do regularly use extra-large puncheon style foudres and it seems that they purchase a new 600L barrel in the year or two before this special brandy was distilled. The larger size has a completely different effect on the brandy then we're used to showing much stronger oxidation and a more integrated addition of oak tannin. I fell in love with this cask because it offered something completely different from anything else on the shelf. The ultra rancio nuttiness implies and almost sherried quality that very few of the other Encantada offerings show. The heavy oxidation makes us worried that the palate will be out of balance or bitter, yet not of the classic pitfalls exist here. The nose waffles between subtle funk and roasted nuts to nearly Creme de Cassis level fruitiness. Is it bourbon, is it Scotch, is it Brandy? We're in the wilderness here. The deep savory quality takes over on the palate, but because of the larger barrels the oak is not totally overpowering. The frighteningly high proof is totally lost if not for a powerful tingly pepper on the finish. For sure this one is the odd man out among the offerings this year, but it also offers some incredible links that will appeal to many different types of drinkers. Another insane value from our dear friends at Encantada. Like all these brandies, this one loves to take it's time in the glass and really opens up after 30-45 minutes.
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2015 Guido Rivella "Fausoni" Barbaresco
Review Date: 04-27-2019
An absolutely stunning example from this master. While the wine is just a baby right now, it's already showing extreme depth and unparalleled distinction. The 2015 is a scary one for lovers of acidity and structure, due to the heat and ripeness, but Guido has managed to produce a wine of great balance and restraint without losing his signature intensity. An absolute benchmark by any measure and exactly the type of Nebbiolo I like to sink my teeth into.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2015 Tenuta Roveglia "Vigne di Catullo" Lugana Riserva
Review Date: 04-25-2019
Another absolutely stunning effort from this benchmark Lugana producer. We've worked with Roveglia for years, but every time we pop a bottle it's like I'm trying it for the first time, revelation. These wines love a little bit of age and tend to get huge scores when they're reviewed so get a head of the crowd and stock your cellar full. The nose is explosive aromas of tangerine, creamy sherbet, tropical spice and attractive mineral undertones. The palate is weighty, textured, but lifted. Pungent Amalfi lemon peel, tense just ripened stone fruit and a balancing spice note. The texture is there for anyone who likes to chew their whites a bit, but it never feels overwrought. Just an incredibly satisfying and complex wine that will continue to improve in the cellar for years to come.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #4093 (Warehouse H, Floor 5) Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2019
Old Forester is finally starting to get the recognition as a brand that it really deserves. After years playing second fiddle to Jack and Woodford at Brown-Forman, the whisky brand that started it all is back in a serious way. They're Whisky Row series is picking up fans across the country and selling about as quickly as any of the other Special Releases from Buffalo Trace or Four Roses, but they instead of being completely unavailable, they're in stock with relative regularity and priced for drinkers not collectors. Their stalwart 100 proof remains one of the very best values in bourbon today, but it is these single barrels where the whisky truly shines. The nose here is a concoction of exotic wood, maple drizzled fruit compote, roasted vanilla and candied cherries. On the palate, surprisingly spicy with the sweetness only building at the very end. The finish is soft as can, but not boring and ends on a somewhat distinct chocolate covered cherry note. Zero bite, but not cloying. It really is incredible what they're able to do in the patent warehouse in 5-6 short years. I'd pay double to have this at cask strength, but this has guts enough to hold the attention of even the staunchest purist.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bruichladdich Peated (Port Charlotte) 12 Year Old "Alexander Murray" Cask Strength Small Batch Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-28-2019
This wild little batch of Bruichladdich is one of the few independently bottled from the little distillery on the west coast of Islay that we've ever seen. The supposedly peaty batch isn't so peaty after all. After 12 years in refill hoggies, it's showing lots more smoke, sweet malt, and earthy complexity on the nose than obvious peat. But on the palate, the deep, linear, salty smoke. It's not as in-your-face as the modern Port Charlottes, but neither is it as tame as the standard Bruichladdich. Maybe that's why this batch made it out, or it belonged to one of the original investors, but I've yet to have anything from the new era this old or delicious. An absolutely screaming deal considering the quality and rarity of this offering, and thanks to Alexander Murray's extremely reasonable price points and our great relationship.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2005 Balblair 13 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask No. 224 Cask Strength Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 03-27-2019
I was SO excited to hear that Balblair was doing single casks, not only because I typically love their standard offerings, but mostly because we so rarely get anything distillery direct and Balblair at full strength is extremely rare. We tasted through a number of samples, but this cask stood out for it's wild nose and very appealing profile. It starts with a gorgeous snappy malt, subtle cracked pepper, ripe grain, whispers of gravelly smoke and yellow plums. The palate is bold and full of zip, with the powerful orchard fruits. The American Oak is so well integrated with the softest prettiest tannin to balance the rich malt out. With a nice dollop of water the package becomes much much prettier. Tons of citron, musk melon, apricots, and subtle spice aromatic. The palate now shows more creamy butterscotch notes balanced by bold seville orange, dense dried herbal teas and those tiny hints of smoke popping back up. There's alot of whisky in this squat little bottle. We can't wait to see what else they pull out of the warehouse for us this Spring.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2016 Florent Cosme "Utopie" Vouvray Demi-Sec
Review Date: 03-23-2019
While the sec from Cosme is one of the best values in the shop right now, his demi-sec is the sort of thing that changes peoples mind. It's almost unfortunate that we have to sell this as demi-sec because so many people will turn their nose up at the idea of drinking something sweet, but this is not any sweeter than some of the big boy chardonnays coming out of California. The nose is massive bouquet of tropical fruit, waxy orchard fruit, subtle exotic spice. The palate is wonderfully textured, coating every last bit of the tongue and not letting go. The acidity waves of any semblance of cloying sweetness with ease leaving incredible balance mineral driven finish. A truly wonderful wine built to develop in the cellar for a decade or enjoy now with a wide array of excellent pairings (Thai, Indian, fried chicken, foie gras, etc.)
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 93 WS 92

Mortlach 20 Year Old "Cowie's Blue Seal" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 03-02-2019
The Mortlach 20 Year is the most intellectual and brooding of the three new editions. I found it was pretty closed compared to the 16 on first nosing, but with some air and time, it's refinement and elegance set it apart from the other two. 100% sherry cask leave it sitting thick in the glass with a deep nutty red hue. The nose after some air starts letting go deep savory aromatics and tons of exotic wood. More on the spice, with some dark chocolate again and some deep red fruits as well. Textured and elegant with tons of oils to coat the palate, the beefy qualities build as you continue through the glass. A fine example of what old Mortlach in Sherry looks like and certainly a beautiful pour if you really want to sit and contemplate the meaning of life and whatnot.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

Mortlach 16 Year-Old "Distiller's Dram" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 03-02-2019
Easily unseating the old Flora & Fauna bottling as the benchmark expression of Mortlach, this distillery seems to sing under sherry and at this age it's completely developed the dense character and meaty savoriness that we crave from the Beast of Dufftown. ON first nosing expect deep dried fruit, dark chocolates, roasted meat juice, tangy clove stuffed pear. Deep and spicy on the palate with the oily texture one demands of the great malts of Mortlach. Hints of fresh herbs, candied tropical fruit and old bay spice. Truly a worth example of this special distillery and well worth $100 they're asking.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WA 91

Mortlach 12 Year Old "The Wee Witchie" Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 03-02-2019
The new distillery release of Mortlach are the perfect counter balance to the complete disaster that the previous offerings represent. Each is a wonderful expression of the distillery, somewhat different in style than the next and absolutely reasonably price. The 12 year captures the essence of MOrtlach without pushing the limits too far. This is perfect expression to introduce someone the Beast of Dufftown. A blend of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry cask offer tons of classic Mortlach character without totally overtaking the complex maltiness of the spirit. The nose has rich vanilla bean, nougat, caramel and cocoa. The palate brings in some spice and baked orchard fruits with the sherry framing the spicy malt perfectly. A great value $50.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1988 Cambus 29 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-17-2019
I often talk about how Single Grain shouldn't be seen as some type of Single Malt light or an offshoot of bourbon, but should really be treated as a stand-alone category that should be judge on its own merits. That's why we thought it was so important to offer a diverse selection of well aged grain at reasonable prices. We've managed to amass a collection of nearly ever active grain distillery (save for Girvan) along with several ghost distillers all in the $100 range and absolutely delicious. Anybody who can wrap their brains and palates around the subtle complexities of grain whisky should consider amassing as many of these awesome examples as they can afford, not only for the exquisite learning experience, but simply because we're not sure when we'll have this kind of broad access and outrageous pricing again. This Cambus is probably the friendliest of the set. Having seen significant evaporation in it's nearly 30 years, the bottle is light on its feet, but no slouch. Expect a head blast of shaved coconut and spiced apple. The palate is easy and round with a tiny salinity that keeps it exciting. Long and easy, the subtle coconut continues but brings in a sweet taffy and caramel covered nougat. I hate to say "a beginners grain" because I don't want to scare away the initiated, but this one will pass nearly anyone's smell test.
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1990 Port Dundas 28 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-17-2019
I often talk about how Single Grain shouldn't be seen as some type of Single Malt light or an offshoot of bourbon, but should really be treated as a stand-alone category that should be judge on its own merits. That's why we thought it was so important to offer a diverse selection of well-aged grain at reasonable prices. We've managed to amass a collection of nearly ever active grain distillery (save for Girvan) along with several ghost distillers all in the $100 range and absolutely delicious. Anybody who can wrap their brains and palates around the subtle complexities of grain whisky should consider amassing as many of these awesome examples as they can afford, not only for the exquisite learning experience, but simply because we're not sure when we'll have this kind of broad access again. This lovely Port Dundas is not the typical thing we get on these grains. Subtle is normally the name of the game, but this Dundas pops right out of the glass with a tinned pineapple, bake apples, toffee and lemon meringue. The oak is very much on the back burner with the vibrant zesty fruit taking over. Touches of savory cereal qualities come in for a growing finish that goes darker and exhibits tiny bits of oak char and vanilla bean. A fun one that's more expressive than your average grain.
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Tom's Foolery Bottled in Bond Single Barrel #150 Ohio Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-07-2019
I used try to look for something from Tom that approximated what you'd expect to get out of Kentucky, but after tasting the 100% ryes that Tom was making I changed my tune. This is is a blend of 70% winter rye and 30% malted rye. The result is one of the headiest and most out there flavor profiles for any whiskey we've ever sold. Out of control aromatics right out of the bottle of fresh mint, pine forest, wet pavement and something slightly barnyardy. The palate is big dry spicy monster with a powerful earthiness and the mint taking over on the finish. This one is not for the faint of heart, but for anyone who knows they love powerful rye or wants to experience what pre-prohibition might have tasted like, this is the a great move. The quality of the whiskey is undeniable even if it might be too much for some to handle.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Tom's Foolery Cask Strength Single Barrel #121 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-07-2019
Another stupendous little bourbon from Tom Herbruck in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The special little distillery outside of Cleveland is part of our portfolio thanks to a fateful visit to my in-laws who live in the area. After tasting grand Plucinsky's homemade "Bailey's" I was feeling a bit saucy and recommended we go check out this craft distillery I'd read had purchased these old still from Michter's. Turns out the "distillery" was just a shed behind Tom's house, but the whiskey was every bit as delicious as I'd heard. This is our third barrel of bourbon from the Herbruck's and represents the smoothest and most "typical" bourbon profile we've yet to release. The intensity of the pot stills comes through while the whiskey is young, but around 5 years old these bourbons seem to real change. The rugged grainy pot still softens into sweet soft aromas of baked apple, barrel spice, burnt orange peel and fresh corn bread. The palate is full sweetness and spice, the thick texture of the bourbon a hallmark of those old potstills. Sweet candy corn, dark chocolate and pointed baking spice (clove and cinnamon especially) are the main show. While we're still not in the same flavor profile as Kentucky, we are moving closer to a traditional bourbon with this one. More reasons why Tom is one of our very favorite American distillers of any kind
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

1995 The Rare Armagnac Collection "Venus" (Domaine de Pouchegu) 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Vintage Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-03-2019
One of the most striking things about Pierre Laporte's eau-de-vie is the incredible diversity in flavors the various vintages offer. This special brandy, bottled at an astonishing 56.2% abv, is in a completely different range than it's older sibling. It's a few shades lighter and the aromatics follow suit. Much fresher than the '80, with gorgeous ripe apricot, tropical spices, lacquer box, Seville orange peel, grated ginger. On the palate, the heat, big spice and strong vanilla are in full force. The bold citrus adds and almost acidic tone, which I don't mind, but gave me an idea. I almost never recommend adding water to brandy. It doesn't have the same opening affect that you'd experience on a single malt, but I highly recommend the tiniest dab of water here. If you want to be precise, maybe 6 drops to an oz. The effect is a spirit so much more complex and balanced than the full strength offering and the oily rich texture remains without "breaking" as they sometimes do. Careful as we're really trying not to dilute, as soon as you see the oils reacting stop. After water, the sweet fruit explodes from the glass tempered by a savory almost gamey spice. On the palate the acidity has developed into structure and actually much more spice comes through. If the '80 was an ultra sherried speyside monster, this '95 would be an a sublimely elegant yet totally out there Islander - a totally different story but no less exciting!
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Wathen’s Barrel Proof "Barrel #40 Los Angeles" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 12-29-2018
This absolutely stupendous cask strength bourbon offers so much complexity in such a small package. There's something inherently old school about the Wathen's products and these barrel proof offerings allude to an old style of whisky that might have existed 30 years ago. The nose is a powerful mixture of big sweet toasty oak, ultra ripe nectarines, Tahitian vanilla and old polished wood. The palate has this wonderful gravelly dark forest quality that balances the sweet caramel and ripe fruit in the perfect way. Medium bodied, but a long spicy nutty quality on the finish. These whiskies are so delicious and yet completely idiosyncratic. Not for lovers of super sweet sappy whiskies, but also not completely austere by any means. Overall a feeling of old schoolness that is almost non-existent in cask strength single barrels from any other producer. Easily one of the most exciting and interesting bourbons of 2018...and just in time.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill "Tom Cat" Barrel Aged Old Tom Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 12-28-2018
Caledonia Spirits had me hooked the moment I opened a sample of the outrageous honey they use to make their gin. This veritable nectar of the gods could literally make anything delicious. Now take an ultra high quality gin, age it in good quality oak, and add just enough honey to feel it, but not enough make it particularly sweet and you've got one of the most dangerous concoctions on the market. Aromatically unique, encompassing a huge variety of complex flavors, Barr Hill has created one of the most successful barrel aged gin I've yet come across. Sip it straight or in the place of whiskey in certain spirit driven cocktails.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2006 Isle of Jura 12 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-18-2018
Isle of Jura is a bit controversial these days. Several customers have already surprised me with their preconception of this odd little distillery. How did such a gorgeous distillery get a reputation across so many disparate drinkers? There is as well the odd customer saying, "Oh, I LOVE Jura," but the general consensus is that this cask will be eyed with skepticism from some, thanks to some preconceived notion of this malt. Luckily for me, this is the type of casks that can change people’s entire outlook on life. The incredibly oily rich malt of Jura is perfectly suited for a nice refill sherry butt and without the chill-filtration and low proof of the distillery bottlings, we've entered a whole different territory for this wild malt. There's just so much going on here it's hard to even begin to describe it. First nose is all candied apple, sea spray, roasted malt and hints of speedway. Like having a coffee near an F1 race. The malt is big and the sherry character is not obvious. But with air the complexity really explodes. This one demands a touch of water and some time to breath because behind those odd flavors is a plethora of complex flavors. Salted fruit, ozone, fennel, oyster shell and camphor. The palate is surprisingly sweet with some nutty sherry starting to sneak in. With more water ocean spray, but not quite briny. Big black pepper, almond butter, Ruger wafers on the palate. With more air, hazelnut spread on rye. A weird wonderful combo, but strangely delicious. This is one of the most unusual and exciting casks we've ever bottled, but not at all difficult to love just in need of some coaxing. And at this price, I'd hope every serious drinker would consider giving the odd little malt a chance and some time to tell its story.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2007 Benrinnes "Old Particular" 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-14-2018
It's not a secret that I'm particularly fond of Benrinnes and its beautiful fruity character. Part of what I've always loved about it is the idiosyncratic nature of their distillation process and the big gorgeous worm tubs sitting behind the stills, so I was a bit skeptical when we were offered a Benrinnes under the "new" regime. Instead of the old odd ball process, this one is distilled as most Scottish single malt, TWICE! But, despite my skepticism, the distillery has not lost any of its charm or soul. Maybe not as heady and perfumed as some of the older version, but with ever pit of the vibrant orchard fruit you want from the great old distillery. As with all these young cask strength malts the bold malt and pepper that is exhibited right out of the bottle is just a mask to something much more complex beneath. One drop of water and this thing goes absolutely bonkers. The hard edge is replaced by pungent orange fruit aromas - apricots, tangerines, persimmons, every orange thing you can think of. The palate is VERY rich and sweet with more malt than the nose and subtle bits of bitter herbs (gentian root, angelica) balancing out the sweet grain. While I'll admit this is not quite the same character as some of the previous Benrinnes, it is still full of life and the purity that we crave from this special little place. And what an incredible value for such a drinkable and complex whisky.
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1995 Loch Lomond ("All Malt") 22 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2018
Here is a weird one! I've never had a grain anything like this little puppy. The distillery, which has since changed hands, used to get in lots of trouble trying to sell this stuff as "pure malt" before the SWA banned the terminology. Now we're the beneficiaries of those oddball experiments. The nose is filled with vibrant orchard fruit, much more expressive than most grain whiskies at this age. Subtle hints of green tea, toasted sour dough, vanilla wafers. The palate has tons of green apple, white pepper, sugar candies and fresh herbs. A playful example of the interesting things that happen when you distil 100% malt mash on a column still!
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1995 Glen Keith 21 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2018
Good old Glen Keith. It gets a bad rap from some of the old timers in this industry, but there's always been something intriguing about Chivas' oddball experimental facility behind Strathisla. I visited the rundown distillery with David on our first trip to Speyside and we'd considered trespassing, but it seemed work had already started on the new reception area and we weren't prepared to be confronted by some Scottish construction worker. This distillery, while relatively new--the first built in Speyside since the whisky crisis in the late 1890s--is actually really attractive. Like Tormore to the southwest, this distillery was a stalwart addition to the Chivas portfolio, but also produced some oddball whiskies through the years. That's given us a difficult time pinning down exactly what the distillery style is, but if we can expect anything like this special whisky I hope they keep popping up. A nose of extreme freshness, crystalline, precise pear and apple fruit. Subtle hints of heather and vanilla. The heather and fresh vanilla take charge on the palate, but the cleanliness of the spirit is paramount here. We're at a natural 45.8%, so I'm going to recommend you avoid adding any more than the tiniest drop of water, which adds a touch of broadness on the nose, but risks ruining the delicacy on the palate. This isn't the most overt or powerful whisky, but offers elegance and a certain grace that's lost in so many modern offerings.
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2006 Balmenach "Old Particular" 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Speyside Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2018
This gnarly little Balmenach is the first from the distillery we've ever bottled. The odd little hidden distillery is the unsung hero the year - no one seems to be familiar with it, but everyone who tries it understands why we bought it. After the initial funky whiffs blow off, the whisky opens to an inviting array of malty flavors, grainy and fresh, it takes a drop of water to tease the exceptional nuance of this awesome cask. With water marmalade on warm biscuits, freshly picked pears and leaves, digestive cookies and tea. On the palate equally appealing and still on the gorgeous breakfast flavors. Babies bum really, smooth and soft. And an easy going one (with water), but sometimes it’s best to just drink not think.
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1996 Auchroisk 21 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2018
Part of the problem with bringing in 40 casks at once is that several of our bottlings fall under the radar. In general, we’re ok with that because once people make it around to tasting the sleepers they begin to realize the incredible diversity of the whiskies we have to offer. Auchroisk is a good name that almost no one knows. We powered through the last of the limited release this year, which the distillery couldn't sell at the MSRP of $400, but our customers demolished at $250. Now we're offering a similarly aged product from this excellent distillery for only $90 and no one seems to have noticed. Their loss is your gain! This magnificent example of one of the quintessential Speyside flavor profiles is firing on all cylinders. The big nose of cake frosting and oak spice reminds me very much of the 25 year old, but with more purity. The palate is pointed and peppery until you add the requisite dash of water. Then the nose pops with an opulent mineral quality, something like a northern Rhone white (but not like floral viognier). The palate is now absolute overflowing with flavor. Citrus peel, candied apples, malted cocoa, tropical fruit salad, it's an absolute stunner. When people finally get around to this little whisky, they'll be kicking themselves they didn't notice it sooner. And this PRICE, I mean COME ON!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2004 Fettercairn 14 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2018
We don't see a lot of Fettercairn around. . We've come across casks at Signatory and they prices have become untenable. But the potential to put solid under $60 medium aged malt drew us to this cask. We're glad we tasted it because it fits perfectly into our selection this year. It offers a ton of value for people wanting a spirit driven well matured malt for not a whole lot of money and exemplifies the “highland” style perfectly. The whole package is pretty well polished, with subtle floral and fruit aromas stacked on top of pointed crystal malt flavors. This drinks best for me with the second dollop of water, which allows a beautiful wild honey character out of its hidden bag of tricks, the added sweetness a welcome addition. Odd fruits, kiwi, loquats, lychee and dried yellow plums. The finish wafts in with a big herbal dryness. Not having tasted too many independent Fettercairns I'm hoping this is a good representation of this unusual little distillery because it's absolutely delicious! Hopefully more like this in the future, but don't get your hopes up, we almost never see this distillery. Don't forget that second little splash of water to open her up.
Price: Hidden View Price

2010 Glen Garioch 8 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2018
I'm an absolute FREAK for Glen Garioch. There isn't a ton out on the open market and the stuff we used to see has become extremely expensive. The malt is highly prized by the blenders for its exceptional highland character. Although it's not well known to the generally public still, it commands a premium and rightfully so. I recommend you try to separate the seemingly young age statement from this whisky when evaluating it. Absolutely nothing tastes like Glen Garioch and this one deserves to be judged without the preconception of age. The nose is gorgeously old school - with big inviting malt, deep earthy wood, a complex mixture of sweet and savory aromas. On the palate that "almost" peaty feeling adds complexity and nuance. Snappy malt, but not sulfured, it exhibits a gorgeous texture and unsurpassed purity. With water it becomes truly the quintessential eastern highlander. The malt is on display offering a tense aromatic battle between expensive teas and spices, complex fruit and earthy dark malt. On the palate the feeling of fresh peat (not smoke at but actual product) is on full display. There's absolutely nothing in the store that taste anything like this special whisky and for people who are truly enamored by top quality distillates in their most pure form, you'll definitely appreciate this special bottle.
Price: Hidden View Price

1997 Benrinnes 20 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-14-2018
We've had incredible luck with the wonderful Benrinnes distillery across the board. The hidden little distillery sits a few miles behind Glenfarclas and when we rolled up to check it out without an appointment we were certain we'd be turned away. The distillery entrance is surrounded by old little homes and you immediately notice the Tibetan prayer flags hanging across road. With no gates or guards we parked the car and ventured into the first building with an open door. There a large gentleman was sitting at a desk and I think he jumped about a foot. We explained we'd had a retail shop and how much we loved their distillery and we understood a tour would be difficult without an appointment. He told us to wait a minute and dialed the manager, "You've got a couple of boys here who want to see the distillery." After a little pause he asked us, "Are you boys German?" No no no we're are not Sir! "Alright, she'll be right down!" The old distillery is as endearing as the gorgeous malt they make. Until 2007, the partial triple distillation: feints (tails) from the wash still and low wine still, weaker feints from the spirits are distilled again in the low wine still. The spirit still is fed by the hearts and head of the first two, as well as the heads and stronger tails of the spirits. The whole thing is cooled on these massive gorgeous worm tubs. The resulting whisky is one of the most pungent and fruity in the Diageo portfolio, this cask is no exception. Tons of ripe apples, flint and creamy malt. On the palate, mirabelle, chalk, slightly watered down honey. Super refreshing and zippy. With a bit of water the minerality comes forward as does the honey. A fabulous expression of this quirky little distillery.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

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